I walked into the hotel room at 12:30 am to drop off my bags and to park the wheelchair.
How do you reach your Lyft driver if you forgot something in their car?
When I walked into the room, “T” was awake, and still fuming about the height of the bed. I unburied my tablet and asked T to use her phone. Actually, I don’t think I asked, I think I just said I was taking it. She continued to complain about the hotel saying I needed to talk to the manager. I put my hand up and said, “we need to be awake at 4:30″, I can’t do this now. I have to find my phone, or I won’t be going anywhere tomorrow”.
I headed back outside with phone and tablet in hand. I sent several text messages to my phone hoping the driver might see them on a pop up. I called Thing One to tell her that I had lost the phone and maybe I needed her to put a hold on it. (My family each pays her $50.00 a month and we share unlimited everything on her account) I asked her to find a phone number for Lyft to report the loss.
She responded with the following screenshots:
This is all good in theory, If you know your passwords. I don’t! My niece set up the Lyft app on my phone during my Boston trip over a year ago. Crap ! Crap! Crap!
I filled out the Contact Lyft form using the hotel’s phone number and my email address for which I also don’t know the password.
I suspended myself from most of my accounts trying to guess the passwords. Those that didn’t suspend me, sent a verification email to my LOST cell phone. SMH!!!!!
Just as I was going to surrender… I remembered that my neighbor works nights…maybe I could call her? IF only I actually knew her phone number instead of only having it stored in my phone?!?!?!?
Ah but wait a minute…we are friends on Facebook..and that is the one password I remember. I sent her a message on Facebook messenger asking for her phone number and then called her from “T’s” phone. It’s probably a sad thing that she wasn’t surprised in the least that I needed “bailing out”. I asked her to go to my house with her key, and I would tell her where to find my list of passwords.
When I logged into my email account there was a message from Lyft that the driver had found my phone. Somehow I was able to contact him and beg him to bring my phone back to me. Lyft charges a $15.00 returned item fee. I paid that and tipped him $20.00.
At 3:15 a.m. I finally crawled into bed. Exhausted
At 4:45a.m, there was a knock on the door. It was the front desk guy Brent. He had spent most of the night/morning outside smoking with me while I tried to get my phone back. He promised that if he didn’t see me surface from the room by 4:45 he would “bang” on the door. He had also set up coffee and set out some of the cold breakfast items even though they don’t start breakfast until 6. Yes I wrote an outstanding review for him and the hotel.
Grace: “T” We need to get going
“T” (from the bathroom), I’m working on it. I’m gonna need you to help carry some of my bags.
Grace: Growl….BAGS?!?! As in multiple?!??!?! How am I supposed to carry anything while I’m in a wheelchair?!?!
LOTS of cuss words
probably even a few more
I don’t even remember her response. I loaded all 3 of her bags and my one bag onto the wheelchair and headed to the lobby to arrange the LYFT.
I’m going to insert a copy of the review that I left for Rosebud Taxi Service which explains in more detail how we ALMOST missed our train.
I am from the Chicagoland area, where Lyft’s are frequently used and also usually readily available. I made the poor assumption that they would also be readily available in Holland, MI. While I was able to use their services from the Amtrak Station in Holland to my hotel where I was staying, I was unable to locate a driver to get to the station at 5:30 in the morning. My companion and I were both traveling in wheelchairs, so I began requesting a ride using the lyft app at 5 am even though we did not need to be at the train station until 6:30. From 5 to 5:45am I could not find anything. At 5:45, our hotel receptionist had found the number for Rosebud Taxi Service. I called and explained our situation to a very nice gentleman, who not only apologized profusely that they wouldn’t be able to help with both chairs on so short of notice, but also gave me a phone number for a competitor who might be able to help. Who does that?!?! Wow! After speaking with his competition, I don’t think they are any competition at all, their response to my dilemma was, “sorry nope nothing we can do.” I went back to trying to obtain a ride from lyft, only to have the one driver cancel the ride because in his words, “I’m 20 mins out for a 4 minute ride, not worth my time.” I did explain that we would tip very well and would probably have to be transported separately. He said, “ no I’m cancelling.”
I think I literally cried to my companion to please call rosebud back while I continued to try to use the Lyft app with no luck. After explaining our tale of woe again, the owner of the company stopped what she was doing in her personal life and came to pick us up herself with a vehicle large enough to hold both of our wheelchairs. I have to ask again, “Who does that?” I am so grateful that there are people in the world who will still go the extra mile to help “rescue” someone in trouble. I truly feel that she “saved” us. It is also important to note that she didn’t charge us any extra for our additional “luggage or needs”. I wholeheartedly give Rosebud Taxi Service 5 stars and would recommend them to anyone!
I didn’t feel it necessary to add that the owner and T could/did not help me load the wheelchairs or luggage into the SUV. BUT that’s when the BREAK happened. Everything happened in such a rush, I honestly don’t remember the exact point it happened. Maybe I dropped one chair on top of the other? Maybe I closed the seat on my finger? In fact I am sure I did both of those things.
In the short 10 minute ride to the train station, my finger turned black. Oh shit…. The ONE thing Einstein said before I left, “DON’T BREAK ANYTHING!!!”. There was no doubt that it was broken :(. Didn’t matter though, we had a train to catch.
I didn’t even try to use the wheelchair other than for baggage on the way home. The fact that “T” was able to though without the use of her legs also supports that it is doable.
In closing, other suggestions I have for traveling alone in a wheelchair are:
- pack as light as possible
- print your tickets etc Do NOT rely on your phone
- TRY to get some sleep. (I’m pretty sure the 1 hour I got is what lead me to getting sick when I got home)
- Plan for back up options should your original plans fall through. (multiple transportation and hotel options.)
- Know your limitations
- Call your hotel or transportation method to check heights, dimensions etc. It would not be unheard of to ask for pictures of your accommodations before committing.
As a side note, while the ADA suggests a bed height of 20-23 inches in handicap accessible rooms, although, it is NOT a requirement.